Cleanup begins after Irma rips through Albany, GA

It's all about cleanup and restoration in the Albany, Georgia area after Tropical Storm Irma blew through Monday.

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The storm brought gusty winds and heavy rain. The conditions were so powerful that they caused a
number of deaths in the Caribbean and the southeast U.S.

Dougherty County officials urged people to seek shelter in Albany and surrounding areas before Irma.

Some 450 people hunkered down inside the Albany Civic Center, which served as a Red Cross Shelter. Many surrounding churches also opened their doors to families in need of a safe place.

Ann Redding, a great-grandmother, told FOX 5's Marissa Mitchell she decided to stay at the Civic Center after receiving numerous alerts on her phone. She said, even though tornadoes struck the area earlier this year, she wasn't going to allow Irma to put her in fear.

"I hope that everybody continues to be blessed in the Lord..." Redding said. "It could be worse...but God got us covered."

Most schools and businesses closed Monday, including colleges and the regional airport.

The Dougherty County Emergency Management Agency told FOX 5 there were no reports of major structural damage as of 8 p.m. Monday. However, they reported power outages as well as down trees.

Crews plan to go out Tuesday to further survey the area.

MORE: The latest on Irma